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Friday, April 28, 2017, 09:48

China to continue escort mission against pirate threats

By Xinhua

BEIJING - The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy will continue escort missions, a long-term task, Yang Yujun, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) said at a press briefing Thursday.

China will continue to play its role in maintaining regional stability and safeguarding vital marine routes, Yang said when responding to reporters' questions on the resurgence of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia this year.

On April 15, Frigate Hengyang of China's 25th convoy fleet rescued a Panamanian ship from suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden .

The Chinese navy also freed a Tuvalu-registered vessel that had been hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on April 9.

Since December 2008, Chinese fleets have escorted more than 6,000 ships through the area and have rescued or assisted more than 60 ships.

China will continue to play its role in maintaining regional stability and safeguarding vital marine routes

Yang Yujun pointed out the progress and improvements China's second aircraft carrier has made. The aircraft carrier was launched Wednesday.

"Its design and construction drew on the experience of the Liaoning, and have improved on many aspects," said Yang, referring to the country's first aircraft carrier, which was rebuilt from the Soviet Union ship Varyag and completed in 2011.

The name of the new aircraft carrier will be announced when it is delivered and commissioned to the PLA Navy, according to Yang.

The new aircraft carrier, the first developed and built by China, will undergo equipment debugging, outfitting and mooring trials, with its main body already completed.

China's naval fleet carried out drills in Western Pacific

A Chinese naval fleet sailed through the Miyako Strait and carried out drills in the waters here Thursday.

The drills involved exercises in communication, fleet formation changes, joint search-and-rescue operation and joint anti-piracy operation.

The drills are aimed at innovating methods of far-sea training and improving emergency response capabilities, said Chen Denan, chief of staff of the Chinese fleet.

"The drills are about enhancing communication and mutual trust, conveying a message of peace and friendship, and helping the fleet adapt to the demands of diversified military tasks," said Chen.

Commander of the fleet Shen Hao said that, with a broader perspective, a more open attitude and a more forward-looking vision, the Chinese fleet will seize the opportunity to exchange experiences with the naval forces of other countries so as to learn from them and ensure the drills are fruitful.

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